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NW 6003
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NW 6003

COLOMBIA Diego Marulanda and Pacande: La Verraquera!

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2008

Originally recorded in 2008

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Total Time - 45:34
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Select Complete Single Disc for

La Cumbia La Cumbia


Pero Ella Se Va


Puya Puyita


Canta El Corazon (bullerenge)


La Noche


Sancocho 'E Mapale




De Indio Y Negro (cumbia)




La Alegria De Mi Pueblo


From Colombia’s sweltering Atlantic coast comes an irresistible dance mix of cumbia, son, mapale, fandango and other percolating Latin rhythms from the newest global Latin star Diego Marulanda & Pacandé.
La Verraquera! in Spanish means something ’great’ or ’awesome’ and that pretty well sums up this release. The disc is a succulent mix of original songs based on Colombian folk rhythms accentuated by vibrant Afro-percussive elements, a fiery brass section and soulful vocals. The rootsy blend of infectious grooves includes Colombian staples like cumbia, fandango and mapale with other Latin styles like son, all skillfully performed. The result is a searing set of traditional rhythms put in a contemporary context.
Born in Bogota, Colombia 1965, during an especially vibrant cultural period, Diego Marulanda made music his focus by the time he was ten years old. He taught himself to play guitar and started composing songs based on the Colombian rhythms surrounding him. He emigrated to Canada 12 years ago, and since then has established himself as one of the premier Latin music performers in North America. With his band, Pacandé- a diverse mix of Latin and non-Latin artists - Marulanda has been able to concentrate on music native to the Colombian Atlantic coastal region.
The mix of his top-notch group is indeed a testament to the eclectic variety in Canada. All the members live among the rich diversity of races and nationalities that make up downtown Toronto. Opera-trained singer (and band sparkplug) Lisa Lindo is of West Indian heritage but Latin and Jazz music are her main loves. Other players - like trombonist Yannick Malboeuf, trumpeter Bob Rice and others - come from a jazz background and they add a musicality to Pacandé that beats most other Latin groups hands-down. Alex Russell is a classical flautist. Another member Shameema Soni, is South-Asian. Then there are Latin natives like Wilson Acevedo and Richard Morales who give the sound its authentic constitution. These are definitely not Buena Vista Social Club members!
The band was formed in 1995 and since then they have toured throughout Canada extensively. Leader Marulanda also composes for theatre and dance. La Verraquera! is his first release. His second independent album was nominated for the Best Global Music Album for the 1998 Juno Awards, Canada’s version of the Grammys. Diego Marulanda & Pacandé’s success extends to its live show which has burned up stages from Toronto’s backstreet cramped clubs to the world renowned Montreal International Jazz festival and the Winnipeg International Folk Festival, performing in front of crowds over 30,000 strong.
Now, with the international release of La Verraquera! on the World Music division of acclaimed budget label, Naxos, Diego Marulanda & Pacandé are ready to take their music even farther and to face even larger audiences.
"Call it cross-pollination. Diego Marulanda brought the music of his native Colombia to his new home in Canada, played by people new to the style. He’s got jazz horns, a classical flutist, a West Indian singer who had to learn Spanish - it all fits, in ways you couldn’t imagine. "La Cumbia" starts with bold sax; the phrase is ended by a trumpet, and in come the shakers. Diego’s guitar has a springy pulse, and Lisa Lindo shouts with fervor. (This is a second language? You’ll never know from hearing her.) Now Diego takes the mike: a tender voice, full of romantic trills. "Pero Ella Se Va" is whispered in your ear, while "La Noche" blasts off, with Diego and Lisa soaring together. Shameema Soni adds bluesy piano, a flute hits the ceiling, and the fury never lets up. Good.
This group has the classic Latin sound - with a few subtle differences. The percussion is light and steady, without the polyrhythms often heard in Cuban music. Horns get block arrangements, each playing the same note. And on most tunes the horns are decoration; it’s all centered on that wonderful beat. The drums wrap Diego on "Canto El Corazon"; slowly it builds, from guitar to handclaps to rambunctious trombone. Lisa goes wild on "Sancocho ’E Mapale": her whoops are joyous, and the flute can barely keep up. The guitar sounds like Charlie Byrd at the start of "Amigo" - then we get his best vocal. "Yabita" has a gorgeous chart (check the subtle piano) and, on the closing "La Alegria", Diego fandangos into the sunset. We’ve had a glorious time... I didn’t know Canada could get this hot!"
John Barrett - JazzUSA - August 2000

"The burgeoning Latin music scene in Canada takes another step forward with the release of La Verraquera! from Diego Marulanda & Pacande. The title comes from Colombian slang for "absolutely amazing," an apt tag for this warmly accessible disc. Guitarist/vocalist Marulanda’s songs skilfully integrate Afro-percussion sounds and native and Spanish elements."
Impact Magazine

 "...the sounds of Colombia’s Atlantic coast are brought vigorously to life here by Diego Marulanda, who sings, plays guitar and percussion, wrote all the music and lyrics for 10 songs and generally dominates the other eight musicians of Pacande, never mind the crush of guests. Vocalists Lisa Lindo and Shameema Soni get some solo room on this Toronto recording that employs hot traditional rhythms such as cumbia, son and cumbron."

Toronto Star

"Some of the best Colombian rhythms are brewed right there in Toronto. Diego Marulanda’s debut album, La Verraquera! is a beautiful example of this intoxicating import. The Bogota-born Marulanda and his band Pacande combine traditional Colombian coastal rhythms with Afro-percussive ingredients to distill sweet, unadulterated sound. That tantalizing hint of Spanish flamenco, now and again complemented by the throaty horns, places this album alongside some of the best ever to come from Latin America."

Opiyo Oloya - The Word

"A Toronto-based nine-piece ensemble that plays upbeat, percussion-driven Colombian music. It sounds traditional, yet all songs written by leader Diego Marulanda. Irresistibly danceable rhythms: cumbia, son, bullerenge, mapale, fandango."
Tony Montague - The Georgia Straight

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